Search giant Google is currently testing yet another new feature on its Maps tool. This one will prove to be quite useful to drivers as the platform shows off the availability of car parking spaces.
The mapping service, which is a hugely popular tool amongst Google users, will now begin to show information regarding car parking spaces in relation to a user’s GPS location. The information it displays is also set to be updated in real-time.
This will allow drivers to have a little bit of extra control over journey times and any decisions they make over the course of their journey in relation to their arrival, and their need for parking. Not only will they know what their estimated time of arrival will be, but they will now also know where they can park without leaving it to chance.
This update was noticed in the latest Google Maps v9.44 beta by AndroidPolice, a technology site dedicated to all things related to Android.
The parking feature appears when the user searches for driving directions on the map. The relevant parking information will be shown next to a P icon which will be displayed alongside the estimated time for the route.
Availability will be shown in three different categories – Easy, Medium and Limited. When availability is limited, the P icon will turn red as opposed to the blue icon a user will see when availability falls into one of the other two categories. All public destinations are included in the upgrade, including shopping centres, tourist attractions and airports.
The feature is thought to be rolling out to all Google Maps users in the near future, with Google needing to first carry out a few more tests and make some final tweaks before making it publicly accessible.
The company is looking to improve the tool to ensure that users can get the best possible experience from the platform, especially for drivers, and to do this Google has added a lot of features in recent times, including GPS journey guides similar to sat-navs, and it has started displaying speed limits.
Furthermore, at the end of November 2016, another feature was added to Maps to show a user whether or not an amenity was busy. This feature used historical data to inform a user whether a bar, shop or restaurant was busy in real time. This feature came just in time for users to utilise before the Black Friday and Christmas shopping season commenced.
Both new features will help a user to plan a trip with more intricate detail than ever before. What this means for the sale of satnavs isn’t quite so positive news. Mark our words, it’s only a matter of time before satnavs become obsolete, destroyed by the smartphone.